National Soil Carbon Innovation Challenge Development and Demonstration Round 2

This grant opportunity gives research and commercialisation organisations up to $20 million over two years to develop lower-cost, accurate technological solutions for measuring soil organic carbon stocks.
Closes in 21 days

Closing date: Tuesday 11 April 2023 5:00pm AEST Tue 11 Apr 2023 5:00pm AEST

What do you get?

Up to $5 million of grant funding to cover up to 80% of eligible project expenditure.

Who is this for?

Australian researchers, entrepreneurs, inventors, start-ups, AgTech companies and other carbon or soil service providers who have a relevant novel product or process to commercialise.


This grant opportunity supports proof of concept, validation or early-stage commercialisation activities relating to the development of lower cost, accurate technological solutions for soil carbon measurement.

Successful applicants will demonstrate how their proposed technology solution is effective at measuring, estimating and/or predicting soil organic carbon in an operational environment.

The objectives of the grant opportunity are to:

  • fast-track the development and commercial readiness of low-cost and accurate technology solutions to measure and estimate soil carbon stocks, to a standard that could support greater participation in Australian Carbon Credit Unit (ACCU) projects
  • validate and demonstrate the effectiveness of technology solutions under Australian operational environments
  • engage and collaborate with landholders to ensure technology solutions can be used in a cost-effective way within diverse farm management operations
  • leverage co-investment to develop, validate and demonstrate the technology solutions.

The intended outcomes of the grant opportunity are:

  • cost-effective and accurate technology solutions that are nearly commercialised or ready for full commercial deployment
  • publicly accessible soil organic carbon stock data for long-term public benefit  
  • increased market interest in and use of low-cost and accurate soil carbon measurement technologies
  • collaborative research partnerships between industry entities and research organisations.

Check if you can apply

You can apply if you meet the eligibility criteria. The eligibility criteria are a set of rules that describe who we can consider for this grant. You can apply if you:

  • are an eligible entity
  • have an eligible project
  • have eligible expenditure.

The rules are in the grant opportunity guidelines.

You can apply if you:

  • have an Australian business number (ABN)

and are one of the following entities:

  • an entity, incorporated in Australia
  • a co-operative
  • an incorporated trustee on behalf of a trust
  • a publicly funded research organisation (PRFO)
  • an Australian state/territory government agency or body.

You can’t apply if you are:

  • an organisation, or your project partner is an organisation, included on the National Redress Scheme’s list of Institutions that have not joined or signified their intent to join the Scheme
  • an employer of 100 or more employees that has not complied with the Workplace Gender Equality Act (2012)
  • an individual
  • a partnership
  • an unincorporated association
  • a trust (however, an incorporated trustee may apply on behalf of a trust)
  • a non-corporate Commonwealth entity.

Partner with other organisations

You can partner with one or more other organisations. But you must decide who the lead organisations is and that organisation must meet the eligibility criteria.

The lead organisation must fill out the application form.

If we give your group the grant, the lead organisation:

  • signs the grant agreement
  • is responsible for making sure your group follows the rules in the grant agreement.

We can only accept applications where you:

  • provide evidence from you board or CEO that the project is supported and you can fund your share of the project costs
  • provide an accountant declaration confirming you have the funds to cover your costs when requesting an amount over $500,000
  • have or will have relevant intellectual property arrangements in place to undertake your project
  • declare that you will be willing to make research data and reports publicly available and to provide them to the Australian Government and any nominated third party, for the purposes of improving knowledge and approaches to quantifying soil carbon under different management practices
  • agree to share data relating to soil organic carbon stock measurements, in accordance with the protocol for the collection and provision of required data.

Your project must: 

  • have at least $125,000 in eligible expenditure
  • be aimed at proof of concept, validation or early-stage commercialisation activities relating to the development of a technological solution that has the potential to provide lower cost, accurate soil carbon measurement.

Your project must also include one of the following activities:

  • using your technology solution to measure and/or predict soil organic carbon accurately and at low-cost, in Australian operational environments
  • proof of concept activities to build on your feasibility study, test the performance of your solution through lab or on-farm trials in Australia and produce working prototypes or demonstrations
  • determining the nature, functionality and capabilities of your solution to measure and/or predict soil organic carbon accurately compared to any similar existing products or services and their corresponding abilities
  • validation activities to develop a lower-cost, accurate technological solution for soil carbon measurement, in Australian operational environments
  • early-stage commercialisation and/or product design activities including, but not limited to, optimising product characteristics, assessing and reducing cost of manufacture and conducting marketing activities
  • collecting and providing validation data on soil carbon stocks and soil samples, to contribute to national soil datasets to support further innovation and improve knowledge of quantifying soil carbon under different management practices
  • publishing (or submitting for publication) the outcomes of validation and demonstration activities in a peer-reviewed publication
  • presenting or otherwise disseminating project data and outcomes to improve knowledge of quantifying soil carbon under different management practices
  • engaging and collaborating with landholders to ensure technology solutions, including any products or services, can be used in a cost-effective way within diverse land management operations.

You can use this grant funding for:

  • labour and on-costs
  • contractors
  • travel and overseas expenditure
  • plant and equipment
  • costs incurred to obtain planning, environmental or other regulatory approvals during the project.

How to apply

Check if you’re ready to apply for a grant

Finding a suitable grant opportunity is just the start of the process to get funding. The application process can take time and effort. Understanding the entire process will help you be grant ready and may improve your chances of getting funding.

Use our checklist to find out what it takes to apply for a grant.

When you're ready to apply

When the online form is available, you must submit your application through the online portal. You’ll need to set up an account when you first log into the portal. The portal allows you to apply for and manage a grant or service in a secure online environment.

First we check that you meet the eligibility criteria. Then we assess your application against the assessment criteria.

The assessment criteria are a set of rules that describe how we must assess each application.

We give each criterion a certain number of points.

We’ll decide whether to award you the grant based on the total number of points we give your application.

We will only consider funding applications that score highly (at least 50 per cent) against each assessment criterion, as these represent best value for money.

  • Assessment criterion 1: How your proposed solution would provide lower-cost and accurate soil carbon measurement (30 points)
  • Assessment criterion 2: The market opportunity of your proposed solution (30 points)
  • Assessment criterion 3: Capacity, capability and resources to deliver the project (30 points)
  • Assessment criterion 4: Impact of grant funding (10 points).

The amount of detail and supporting evidence you provide should be relative to the project size, complexity and grant amount requested.

The program delegate makes the final decision.

Apply now

Apply for the National Soil Carbon Innovation Challenge – Development and Demonstration Round 2 grant now 

Before you apply, make sure you:

  • read and understand the grant opportunity guidelines
  • read the grant agreement
  • read the sample application form.
Apply now

Sample applications

The best way to understand what information you need to provide is to start an application. We have also provided a version to download at the bottom of this page.

Technical help

See our customer portal's frequently asked questions to help with your queries. If you can't find your answer, contact us for assistance.

If you submit your application before the close date you can retrieve it any time to make changes. But you must submit it again before the close date.

We can’t consider the application you submit after the close date under any circumstances.

Past and future rounds

This opportunity is part of National Soil Carbon Innovation Challenge program.


Need help?

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Key documents

Grant opportunity guidelines

pdf · 0.63 MB docx · 0.40 MB

Sample application form

pdf · 0.40 MB docx · 0.11 MB

Sample grant agreement

pdf · 0.59 MB docx · 0.15 MB

Accountant declaration template

pdf · 0.10 MB docx · 0.04 MB

Sampling and data protocols

pdf · 0.69 MB docx · 0.29 MB

Data collection and use agreement

pdf · 0.31 MB docx · 0.06 MB